Tuesday, March 16, 2010

WebOS 1.4 Update Helps Palm Catch-up in Smartphone Arena

Since launching its new line of smartphones a few months ago, Palm has taken considerable steps to remain competitive in this ever-advancing market. Little advantage has come from Palm’s strategy in partnering up with Sprint and Verizon, two wireless providers who either lack in smartphone customers (Sprint) or already have quite a few options available (Verizon).

The WebOS 1.4 update was much needed after initial impressions of Palm Pre’s features were nothing to cheer about. Many users loved the idea of such a revolutionary OS, but experienced hardware issues, such as wobbly screen display and random shutdowns that quickly led to frustration. Not to mention the absence of many user friendly features that smartphone users have come to expect, like application launch status and better hyper-linking to phone numbers embedded in e-mails or text messages.

With the WebOS 1.4 update, Palm Pre and Palm Pixi Plus users are benefiting from tons of improvements, including video recording, editing and uploading capabilities, customization of calendar notifications, full hyperlink support for phone numbers and email addresses in Calendar, Memos, Web browser and Email applications, grouping of multiple calls from the same person in call history and custom ringtones. Additionally, WebOS 1.4 has improved Bluetooth headset support for conference calls, email sorting features, more user friendly web browsing and SMS messaging.

With that said, Palm still has a long way to go if it plans to surpass the competition. Though its improvements through WebOS 1.4 were much needed, Palm is still battling the timing issue. If a smartphone developer attempts to position its device as the latest and greatest, it is essential to not only introduce something new and unseen, but it also has to work. Palm didn’t necessarily do that with WebOS. And it’s merely playing catch-up to the competition for the time being.

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